“Raining Joy’s Revival”, from L.Willows (See Jesus, Hope, Renewal in God’s Spirit)

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I drove to the garden park in a neighboring community, and my heart lifted. Actually, I was shocked. The gates were opened for the first time since the pandemic lockdown began. My heart just paused to take it all in. I had been at the gardens and entered secretly some time before. Little was blossoming then but it gave me hope. The birds and the trees were thriving and everything in nature said yes to my heart.

That morning, the sun was shining and the sky was cobalt blue, there had been a full rainfall the night before and everything was glistening with waterdrops.

I started on the first walkway into the garden path that was surrounded by open spaces and luscious gardens on either side of the path. There were a few other appreciators there. My first reaction was that I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to God. It felt like my heart was bursting with joy as I thanked Him for the display of His Goodness. I saw the loveliness of His Creation all around me sparkling and shining, as though His Love were reflecting back to me. I had a mask on. I took it off so that I could smell the sweetness of each flower, each reed, each tree, every bud that I passed. All of the cares that I may have brought to that moment flew like dust into the tall grasses and into to top branches of the tall towering pine trees that hovered over all. This was bliss. I knew it at the moment.

As I walked I continued to pray and speak to the Lord. Then I came to my favorite garden. It winds in and out and has beds of special large budded flowers. Usually there are bees there because they are so sweet-smelling. I always stick my nose in each one and inhale! I noticed that because the blossoms are so large and bold, the flowers were particularly affected by the rains the night before. They were bent over, some of them were all the way to the ground. Some, the mature ones at the very top, had not really survived the rains. Their giant glorious buds had opened completely before the pouring and seemed to have grandly protected many of the other flowers. Petals were cast to the ground. Droplets of the rain were still shining on all of the blossoms and upon the earth.

As I stared at the aroma filled beauty, I kept sying to myself, “after the rains”. I thought of us, all of us, and the pouring of the trials that we have been through. The rain of a trial endured with faith is a glorious experience if it reveals God’s Spirit in us.

After the rain, we see true beauty around us, we appreciate the morning of what hope is and where true hope lies. If we have experienced losses, and many of us have, we look up and forward, not back or away. God is and will be providing many reasons for each of us to see His Glory in this season and in many to come. After the rain, when we temporarily view what was lost, we are invited to see the Reign of our True Hope. There is a garden gate that never closes. Our Lord, Jesus is the Gate, the one true Door. There is an aroma that is sweeter than any blossom on earth. It is the aroma of The Holy Spirit.

My bliss, what I call the Joy- is a shadow of the real joy of God’s Kingdom. When we live with Jesus as the “Yes” that leads to every other choice, hearts,  our lives become free regardless of circumstances. Everything in Heaven and on Earth is His Dominion.

The morning walk was a gift of renewal and revival. Spirit of God, rain on me, fill me- fill us all with your beauty, with the purpose of Christ and strengthen our faith.

© 2020 Linda Willows

“Prayer; Gathering to Breathe God”, from L.Willows (Quotes on Prayer, no boundaries, Loving God)

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Yesterday I joined a weekly group in prayer. Even though it was remote via zoom, the experience was powerful. Within moments I sensed the motioning of God’s Spirit. My heart was stirred by the Holiness of His Presence amongst us. Prayer is vital not only for each of us personally but in gathering together in the name of Jesus Christ.

We need to lift our hearts to the Lord during these times. Our journeys are each different but we have the same need in seeking Him in prayer. If you find yourself separated by boundaries of isolation or circumstances, I pray that you will be able to connect with others. We can pray by phone, pray with the family,  teach friends how to pray, and most of all, ask God for friends to pray with – He will not disappoint you.

I believe that we need to gather together (even in an intangible way) and worship God when we pray. When we gaze at the beauty and majesty of the Lord, our hearts melt. We soften and become His; ready to meet with Him. The hardened parts that have battled the day or denied Him even for a moment, come forward and bend towards the Light of His Love. There, we begin Prayer. All of this, for the sweetness of gathering before God. I am so grateful that the Holy Spirit has no boundaries in this world and that Jesus Christ faces us wherever we are.

Because of the joy and encouragement, that prayer gives to me, I wanted to share some quotes that I found with you:

St. Augustine – Do you wish to pray in the temple? Pray in your own heart. But begin by being God’s temple, for he will listen to those who invoke him in his temple.

E.M. Bounds – Prayer is a wonderful, powerful; tool placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. Prayer reaches to everything, takes in all things great and small which are promised by God to men. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and his ability to fulfill those promises.

E. M. Bounds – Prayer is God’s life-giving breathe. God’s purposes move along the pathway made by prayer to their glorious designs. God’s purposes are always moving to their high and beneficial ends, but the movement is along the way marked by unceasing prayer. The breathe of prayer is from God.

E. M. Bounds -God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil.

John Bunyan – When you pray, rather let your heart be without words than words without heart.

Chrysostom, Saint Joan -Prayer is…a treasure undiminished, a mine never exhausted, a sky unobstructed by clouds, a haven unruffled by storm. It is the root, the fountain, ands the mother of a thousand blessings.

Billy Graham – Prayer is the rope that pulls God and man together. But it doesn’t pull God down to us: It pulls us up to him.

O. Hallesby -Prayer is so rich and so mobile that all we have to do when we pray is point to the persons of things to which we desire to have this power applied, and He, the Lord of this power, will direct the necessary power to the desired place at once.

O. Hallesby – To pray is nothing more involved than to open the door, giving Jesus access to our needs and permitting him to exercise his own power in dealing with them.

C. S. Lewis -Simply to say prayers is not to pray; otherwise a team of properly trained parrots would serve as well as men in prayer.

C. S. Lewis – It is quite useless knocking on the door of heaven for earthly comfort; it’s not the sort of comfort they supply there.

Martin Lloyd Jones – Everything we do in the Christian life is easier than prayer.

Martin Luther – To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.

Thomas Merton – And when God reveals himself to us in contemplation we must accept him as He comes to us, in His own obscurity, in His own silence, not interrupting Him with arguments or words, concentrations or activities that belong to the level of our own tedious and labored existence.

F. B. Meyer – The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer but unoffered prayer.

George Mueller – When once I am persuaded that a thing is right, I go on praying for it till the end comes. I never give up till the answer comes. The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer. They do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it.”

Charles Spurgeon – Because God is the living God, he can hear; because he is a loving God, he will hear; because he is our covenant God, he had bound himself to hear.

Charles Spurgeon – Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence.

Charles Spurgeon – On his knees, the believer is invincible.

Mother Teresa -Prayer enlarges the heart until it is capable of containing God’s gift of himself. Ask and seek, and your heart will grow big enough to receive him and keep him as your own.

Saint Teresa of Avila – Prayer doesn’t consist of thinking a great deal, but of loving a great deal.

John Vianney – The interior life is like a sea of love in which the soul is plunged and ism, and is, as it were, drowned in love. Just as a mother holds her child’s face in her hands to cover it with kisses, so does God hold the devout man.

© 2020 Linda Willows

From Heaven’s Glove”, a worship poem from L.Willows (Blessing, God’s Comfort)

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I know some circles called ‘my heart’,
Far from here, they do not part.
Lines begin to shred and fray
When they wander, when they stray.

Called to be by an unseen sway
There they rest, there they stay.
Coddled all beside one Guest,
A might that gathers all as Blessed.

When the winds of life become
Stormed, or rifted, pulled by some –
Here within a Love abides
Comfort tendered from all sides.

Drawn like dew from heaven’s glove,
Soaked into each circle of –
this Heart of mine with wanted love
Given all from God above.

Thankfulness comes sweeping through
like heaven’s dust from clouds gone by
There I am, a child of His,
blessed and swept into love’s sky.

© 2018 Linda Willows

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.” Psalm 63:3

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep.” Psalm 36:5-6

“I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.” Psalm 89:2

“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” Isaiah 54:10